VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - An internet predator sting operation has yielded 11 arrests in Central Florida.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office held a news conference on Tuesday to discuss the results of 'Operation Deviant Desire.'
The operation, which was run by conglomerate of local, federal, and state law enforcement, targeted people online who go after minors. Undercover officers posed as 14-year-olds and engaged adults in conversations online or through text.
A meeting point would be arranged but instead of meeting the children there, they would be arrested.
11 total people were arrested in Central Florida.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that the messages exchanged "makes you want to throw up. It makes you want to physically get ill listening to what these guys want a 14-year-old to perform on them or what they want to perform on a 14-year-old."
He went on to outline several of the arrested persons. One of the persons claimed that he did not know it was illegal in the United States to have sex with a 14-year-old.
Another of the persons texted the minor while sitting next to his pregnant wife. Two of the arrested were not American, as one was of Chinese nationality and another of Mexican.
Chitwood added that "we are not going to tolerate people abusing our children." He also made a reference to the convicted Ormond Beach child sex offender who is out on bond while awaiting his appeals process. He previously referred to this individual as a scumbag and demanded that the judge rescind the order and apologize to the family of the victim.
"Regardless of what the judges think, regardless of what the News Journal thinks, we are out here and we are going to protect our children," Chitwood said. "The internet is a dangerous place."
Chitwood also thanked the men and women behind the operation.